Over the years, we've had mixed experiences when it comes to management but Kevin Nolan and Alan Hardy look like being the real deal. Not only have they got a great connection with the fans but they also seem to have a great connection with each other. They both have an understanding of each other with Nolan setting out what he needs in terms of improving the squad and Hardy doing everything in his power to make that happen.
From a fans perspective, this is great to see. Both a manager and an owner with the same objectives and ambitions to get the fans back into games and progress together up the leagues.
Last season, it wasn't expected of us to do much in the season having struggled in the previous season and recruiting a rookie manager in Nolan. But with the backing of Hardy, we managed to achieve a playoff place, which ended unfortunately bad for us. It was a learning curve for Nolan last season and I’m sure he will look back on it and learn from parts of the season.
It was all going well until Christmas with us riding high in the league and a good cup run but a bad run of results in the new year meant we dropped off the pace a little. Just like many others believe, it could have been to do with the change of formation playing Jon Stead up front on his own or not playing Jonathan Forte more often.
Whichever way you look at it, Nolan is certainly a man with the intentions to never give up and to try get the best from his players. Many interviews he gave, he never held back on his opinions whether it was a bad referee decision or whether it was his players simply not being good enough on the day. I felt it hard to argue with anything he said in post match interviews always seemingly to be bang on in every part.
When Hardy came in, he had intentions of re-building Notts and getting fans back onside. He admitted during the first half of the season with us riding high in the league that it was hitting his pocket with win bonuses etc. but he was loving every moment of this.
Another thing which helped us fans get behind Hardy was when he decided for his 1 year anniversary as owner, he would slash ticket prices to £2 for the game against Crewe. This attracted 17,000+ to Meadow Lane to witness a 4-1 win.
He has always been open with fans on social media, always keeps fans in the loop with the on goings at the club. There was a touch of class from Hardy at the end of the season, for everyone that attended the playoff semi final clash at Meadow Lane they were handed a free t-shirt to mark the occasion and get behind the lads.
He has certainly been back on form this season, getting transfers in to improve the squad and re-build. Also, with the announcement that he was going to freeze ticket prices till the start of the season due to England's great World Cup run.
As long as they carry on what they are doing, we can certainly look forward to a bright future in the hands of both Nolan and Hardy.